On October 25, 2022, Borealis Philanthropy’s Disability Inclusion Fund (DIF) hosted its first-ever Twitter chat with grantee partners, the broader disability justice ecosystem, and funders. During the #DIFJoy chat, folks shared their thoughts and experiences with the DIF’s new Joy Grants and the role of joy in the movement for disability justice and inclusion.

We rounded up some of the highlights from the #DIFJoy chat below:

Why is disabled-led joy important to you and/or your organization?

Disability & Philanthropy Forum: Disabled-led joy is radical in a world where disabled people have to fight for survival. The disability community should be able to experience moments of joy and celebration to thrive.

Lisette E. Torres of Disabled Latinx: DIF Joy is important because we are multiply marginalized and go through so much (i.e., pandemic, death, grief, violence, microaggressions, etc.) that we NEED to celebrate our resilience and ingenuity. It’s survival. It’s hope.

NAMD Advocates: It’s our time! To destigmatize the existing outward narrative that surrounds the disabled community, we need to take up the space to celebrate our full selves with unabashed confidence.

What are some joyous practices that you and/or your org have done?

Sandy Ho of Borealis Philanthropy: DIF team has weekly check-ins, and every effort is made to start off with a zany, random, and joy-filled relationship-building question before we dive into the work! The work will always be there, but time to get to know each other makes our work and processes stronger. Some grantee-partners have shared #DIFJoy practices with us, like boba happy hours, bonding over zoom games, sharing gardening tips and photos of pets, and shifting towards 4-day work weeks over the summer. The seeding of joy has turned into the harvesting of more opportunities!

Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network: AWN will be hosting our 2nd annual retreat in Dec, which supports joy by offering space and time for our board, staff, volunteers, and contractors to come together and celebrate the year with music and games. AWN supports joy and self-care by taking the last two weeks of December off, and we shut down operations. We even close our social media platforms and ask that our staff and volunteers take this time away from work. They do not lose pay and are compensated during the shutdown. AWN provides quarterly self-care stipends to our staff. This funding is supported by the Borealis Joy Grant!

Read the full article about funding disabled-led joy at Borealis Philanthropy.